Posts Tagged ‘Bumilangit Cinematic Universe’

Sri Asih

Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

Okay, I know after 15 years many people have sort of fallen out of love with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I feel you. Maybe you’re looking forward to a world with fewer comic book movies. Fair enough.

But before you go can I interest you in Indonesia’s answer to the MCU real quick? A few years ago I reviewed the 2019 film GUNDALA, written and directed by Joko Anwar (SATAN’S SLAVES), based on an Indonesian comic book character from the ‘60s. I really liked it, and thought it was cool to see a super hero origin story that’s obviously inspired by the American ones, but based in the history, culture and cinematic traditions of Indonesia. Most specifically, for my tastes, that means it has a whole bunch of really great martial-arts-based action. So I was intrigued that it was meant to kick off something called the Bumilangit Cinematic Universe. In the MCU tradition it even had a little tag at the end introducing the heroine of movie #2 here, SRI ASIH. Then the whole endeavor got delayed by that bastard COVID-19, but it finally made its way to U.S. DVD (but I guess not blu-ray) this week under the insulting title SRI ASIH: THE WARRIOR.

Anwar is the executive producer of the whole series, and he co-wrote this one with its director, Upi Avianto (HIT & RUN), just credited as Upi. Pevita Pearce (MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU) stars as Alana, whose mom died giving birth to her four months early, during a volcanic eruption, in a car being chased by a demon-faced ash plume. So Alana grew up in an orphanage defending others from bullies until a rich lady named Sarita (Jenny Chang, also a mother in competing Indonesian comic book universe movie SATRIA DEWA: GATOTKACA) adopted her and taught her to be a fighter, who competes against men and is undefeated. (read the rest of this shit…)


Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

I gotta admit, I barely knew Indonesian cinema existed until I saw MERANTAU and THE RAID. We all loved THE RAID and THE RAID 2 and then THE NIGHT COMES FOR US came along and that was arguably even more impressive. It was directed by Timo Tjahjanto, who’d already done another Iko Uwais martial arts movie I loved called HEADSHOT with his long-time collaborator Kimo Stamboel. They also did a horror one called KILLERS that I had to turn off in the opening scene because it was too much for me at the time. Some day I’m gonna get up the guts to go back. These days Stamboel has a heavily hyped horror movie called THE QUEEN OF BLACK MAGIC, written by Joko Anwar. Anwar is the guy who directed SATAN’S SLAVES (which I enjoyed) and IMPETIGORE (which I haven’t seen yet but it was on some best of the year lists).

So clearly there are healthy action and horror scenes over there, and those are my primary interests. But did you know they also have a local answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The aforementioned Anwar wrote and directed the 2019 film GUNDALA, based on an Indonesian comic book character created in 1969, and will be overseeing a series called the Bumilangit Cinematic Universe (BCU), with seven more films planned in Volume 1.

I knew there’d be something interesting about an Indonesian take on modern super hero movies, but once again I was caught off guard because you guys, this movie is really good. It certainly takes some inspiration from the Marvel films, and there’s a costumed hero with some powers and some colorful super villains, but mostly it’s a legit martial arts movie with lots of really well directed fights. And it’s interesting to see how a character like this compares and contrasts to the ones that have caught on here. The main difference is that his life has been way harder than any of our guys. (read the rest of this shit…)